THE Brisbane Bullets will be in the cross hairs for the Illawarra Hawks first home game and New Year’s Eve clash at WIN Entertainment Centre.
With the official NBL draw to be released on Wednesday morning, the Mercury understands the Hawks season will start with an away game in Cairns on October 6, before travelling to Perth and Sydney in round two.
The Hawks will then return to Wollongong to meet Brisbane on Sunday, October 22 to play in front of home fans for the first time in the new season. It is the 40th year of the national competition and with the Hawks the only remaining foundation club, a number of special celebrations have been planned, NBL chief executive Jeremy Loeliger said.
“This promises to be one of the biggest and most exciting seasons we’ve seen in the NBL,” he said.
“Last year all but one team was in contention for the play-offs up until the end of the season and I’m sure fans are in for another highly competitive and entertaining season.
“Heritage month will give us an opportunity to celebrate one of Australia’s oldest national club competitions with clubs wearing heritage jerseys as part of our 40th anniversary season.”
The Hawks will have seven of their 14 home games on a Sunday afternoon this season and four on a Saturday, with two Thursday and one on Friday.
The Hawks play their two home games against the Sydney Kings on October 29 and November 16.
Under coach Rob Beveridge the Hawks made it to the grand final series last season, beaten by Perth.